The speed sessions are not recommended for children under the age of 9. We have speed skaters from the National Team, to those training to go to National and World level Championships, to club skaters with over 30 years of experience. The faster skaters are traveling over 25 mph.
We have only two speed skating sessions per week in the bay area, and the speed sessions are meant for high intensity training. Beginners are welcome, but they must be able to skate unassisted, follow instructions, and pay attention to what is going on around them.
Skaters who want to join must understand that we all have to share the space. The speed sessions are structured workouts. Skaters will be directed when it is their turn to skate. There will be a person running a skating program. Skaters must stay in their designated group. Skaters will be standing around in the middle of the ice, or working on skills in a very small area, while other skaters are on the track.
The highly-structured skating sessions are not a fun place for kids under 9 or 10. The speed sessions are the place where speed skaters get a workout. You may see some very young skaters at the speed sessions, but they have a parent on the ice with them.
To help ensure the safety of all skaters, the doors to the ice surface must remain closed during the entire ice session. Skaters are NOT allowed to stand at the wall or cross the track without the permission of the person who is running the workout.
Basic coaching is provided at no cost to help newcomers to join our sport, but the coaches are skaters, and are primarily there to get a workout.
Our speed skaters range from skaters who race in world championship events to novices to seniors. Mary and Greg Wong have earned coaching certification through US Speedskating. There are also young skaters who help run the sessions, who have been certified as Fundamental Coaches through US Speedskating.
Skaters must be on speed skates. NCSA has a limited supply of skates to rent.
SPEED SESSION RULES
DOORS MUST REMAIN CLOSED during the speed sessions.
Skaters are not allowed to enter the track, cross the track, go to the wall, except with the permission of the head coach. Any time a door is opened, the open door jamb creates an extreme hazard and the speed session must be stopped. If a skater is standing at the wall, they are in a dangerous location! If they are hit by another skater, both can be severely injured.
Therefore, parents, if you want to speak to your child, get the attention of one of the adults on the ice. DO NOT open the rink door. Do not call your child to the side wall!
PLEASE, get to the rink on time! Make sure your child has their water bottle, jacket, gloves, etc. before getting on the ice. Make sure their skates are laced properly. Make sure your child has used the bathroom before getting on the ice.
Skaters must follow the instructions of the person who is assisting to run the skating session.
MY CHILD IS UNDER 9 YEARS OLD
Speed sessions are very intimidating. Speed sessions are not recommended for children under 9. Please wait until your child is at least 9 years old. We have had instances where the child is completely at a loss and never wants to come back. Is that the experience you want? The bigger skaters go over 25 mph and safety is the primary concern. Please consider your child’s maturity first. Just because they are good skaters and they like to go fast, does not mean the speed session will be a fun experience.
PRIVATE COACHING? No private coaches are allowed at the speed sessions. Very comprehensive basic speed skating lessons are provided during the “off season,” from April to August. BASIC LESSONS are for speed skating form and technique. As the season progresses, the speed sessions shift emphasis to faster laps and workouts for speed and endurance. Lessons are NOT geared for children who are beginners, or skaters who just want to go fast. Skaters wishing to advance to a high level of racing ability may wish to look at the programs provided through the FAST team at the Kearns Olympic Oval, or the ACE program through the Pettit facility in Milwaukee.
NCSA adheres to the recommendations of the US Olympic Committee Youth Development Model that athletes under the age of 13 limit sport-specific training.
It is important for young athletes to be encouraged to participate in many different activities, and it is detrimental to their physical and emotional development to focus solely on one activity at too young an age.